Go Outdoors plans first Sussex store in Angmering

Plans for the expansion of the Out of Bounds facility, at Rustington Golf Centre as they initially stood with the football pitches
Plans for the expansion of the Out of Bounds facility, at Rustington Golf Centre as they initially stood with the football pitches

Leading retailer Go Outdoors could open at Rustington Golf Centre after major plans for a leisure development at the facility changed.

The centre, in Golfers Lane, Angmering, secured planning permission for five-a-side football pitches, a trampoline and laser tag centre, hotel, pub/restaurant, forest adventure kiosk and nursery in January, 2017.

The development has yet to commence – but it has emerged the business struggled to find an operator for the football pitches.

A retail unit is proposed to replace the pitches, with Go Outdoors – which claims to be the UK’s biggest in its field – identified in planning papers as the proposed tenant.

A report submitted by agents on behalf of the golf centre said: “The necessity for the application arises due to a lack of interest expressed by potential operators for the five-a-side football pitches which stems from competition from nearby.

“It is important that a suitable replacement use to the five-a-side football pitches is found to ensure the overall viability of the consented leisure scheme.”

Submissions as part of the planning application included correspondence between the centre and potential operators for the five-a-side pitches.

International brand Goals Soccer Centre were among those to decline the opportunity.

The plans have attracted objections from Angmering, Rustington and Littlehampton parish and town councils. Concerns included issues around access and the impact on the road network – matters some raised in connection with last January’s plans.

The plans will be debated by councillors on Wednesday. Planning officers have recommended approval.

A report to Arun District Council’s development control committee discusses at length the impact on Littlehampton and Rustington traders.

The report concluded it was ‘unlikely to have a significant adverse impact’, stating the view that Littlehampton was ‘underserved’ by specialist outdoor leisure retailers.

According to the Go Outdoors website, the brand has no current Sussex branches.